By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Brandon McBride keeps the NCAA Indoor National Championship trophy that he won in March in the 800 meters proudly displayed on a shelf in his home.
Now the Mississippi State sophomore must make room for more hardware after claiming another national title in the 800 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last week in Eugene, Ore.
“It just feels great and it’s a huge accomplishment,” McBride said. “Just to go out there and do your best is an accomplishment itself, let alone win first place. That’s just icing on the cake. I always pray before the race and I never ask God to allow me to win. I ask Him to allow me to do my best and no matter where I place, as long as I left everything out on the track, I’m happy.”
McBride finished with a time of 1:46.26 at historic Hayward Field, the second-best finish of his career. It was enough to edge out Florida’s Ryan Schnulle who finished second with a time of 1:46.29.
“I set the pace, but from about 600-700 (meters) I could feel the guys coming up on me,” McBride said. “But with about 80 meters to go luckily I woke up when they were right there basically tapping me on the back and I opened up.”
The outdoor championship turned out to be an early birthday present for McBride, who turned 20 two days after winning the title. He finished the year undefeated, won an SEC Championship and ranks No. 1 nationally in the event.
‘So much hard work’
“This means so much to me because I put so much hard work into this,” McBride said. “I had to sacrifice a lot. I couldn’t go out on the weekends because I’d have to train the next morning.”
The Bulldogs placed 24th at the event while host Oregon won the national title.
The Windsor, Ontario, native will compete in the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, from June 27-29 before traveling to Glasgow, Scotland to race in the Commonwealth Games later this summer.
McBride’s ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio De Janeiro.
“I just really want to represent my country on the big stage at the Olympic games,” McBride said. “That would be a huge accomplishment and hopefully I can make (Canadians) proud.”